- Today I covered something about the Israel Palestinian conflict in our Discover It blog. Take a look at it here.
- Government looks at raising rupee loans abroad
- By raising sovereign debt abroad, the government is looking at taking advantage of the rising rupee to access funds at competitive rates as well as to leverage its new improved sovereign credit rating, which is now in the investment grade.
- If the government succeeds in raising debt at extremely competitive rates – say 20 to 25 basis points below LIBOR – it will set a benchmark in foreign markets, which will benefit Indian companies to secure credit at cheap rate too.
- Raising funds through rupee denominated bonds will take away currency risk from the government of
. Instead it is the foreign investors who will have to bear that risk. When the country raises dollar denominated bonds, it is the country which will bear the currency risk. India
- TRAI’s NDNC comes into place
- NDNC stands for National Do Not Call registry.
- Any telemarketer calling a number registered with this registry will be slapped with a fine of Rs. 500 per call.
- Subscribers will have to register their number with a ‘toll free number’ provided by their service provider.
- Regulators for Real Estate
- There seems to be no end to the creation of regulators for various sectors.
- The Real Estate Management and Regulation Bill stipulates the constitution of a state level regulators to monitor real estate developments in cities.
- Mandatory ethanol doping to help sugar companies
- The government is considering a proposal to make 5% doping compulsory with immediate effect. The percentage of ethanol in the motor spirit will be increased to 10% from October 2008.
authorizes a doping of 23% ethanol. Brazil
- Kerala wants to do away with tolls on National Highways
- National Highways account for 40% of the road traffic but make up less than 2% of the network.
- Hence there is a crying need for stepping up investments in construction and maintenance of the National Highways. This can be done by coagulating funds from the proceeds of cess on petrol and diesel and levy of tolls for usage of the roads.
- Objective criteria say that tolls be avoided only in those road stretches that have usage density of less than 15,000 passenger car units. But Kerala has this figure at 20,000.
- Suresh Prabhu on environment
- We rarely come across politicians who are well read. Even among them we rarely come across people who can articulate a highly educated point of view. I would rate Suresh Prabhu (former Union environment and forests minister) to be belonging to this latter class.
- His article in today’s ET about preserving environment is must read. Do so here. For those of you who don’t have the patience, here are a few facts/opinions worth noting:
- We have just 4% of the world’s fresh water source and need to support 17% of the world’s population.
- Export of water-intensive agricultural products actually means export of scarce water and this may not be sustainable.
- US wants WTO to expand list of banned subsidies
- At present the two subsidies – export subsidies and import substitution subsidies – are prohibited.
- US wants it expanded to include:
- Government payments to companies to cover operating losses
- Forgiveness of government-held debt
- Lending to un-creditworthy companies
- Equity investments in unequity worthy companies
- Other financing like royalty based financing, that is not commercially viable
- Indian coins in demand across the border in
- Indian currency coins are reportedly being smuggled across to manufacture shaving blades and idols.
Goaelections: Congress – NCP combine wins
- Congress party led by the incumbent Chief Minister Pratapsinh Rane won 16 seats out of the 40 seats.
- Is inclusion of a caste in the Scheduled Tribe category in the hands of a state government exclusively?
- No. The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the Scheduled Tribes Commission have a say in the matter before it is put up to Parliament.
- The global order changeth
’s share of the global output which was at 5.7% in 1990, has grown to over 15% by 2005. China Chinaand have a workforce of 1.2 bn at present; they will add another 115 mn in another three years. India
- Functions of the High level group of climate change to the Prime Minister
- It is called the PM’s Council on Climate Change.
- It will coordinate National actions plans for assessment, adaptation and mitigation of climate change.
- It will advise the Government on pro-active measures that can be taken by
to deal with the challenge of climate change. India
- It will also facilitate inter-ministerial coordination and guide policy in relevant areas.
- Basque separatists group ETA in
- It is a group carrying on armed struggle for independence of the Basque territories for the last four decades.
- It has declared a ceasefire in March 2006. The Spanish government initiated talks with the group sometime in mid-2006, but the talks broke down at the end of 2006 after they set off a bomb in an airport.
- The group now said that the ceasefire is off and that the government should be prepared for intensified attacks on all fronts.
- Combustible ice
has successfully excavated this. It is a kind of natural gas hydrate. It is formed by natural gas and water in conditions of high pressure and low temperature. China
- The development could ease
’s energy dependence on oil and coal. China
- It is the fourth country in the world after the
US, Japanand to succeed in this field. India
- Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby
- He was a top aide to the
Vice President, Dick Cheney. US
- He is in news because he was sentenced to two years in prison for lying and obstructing the CIA leak investigation.
- Ms. Valerie Plame was a CIA operative whose identity was leaked to reporters in 2003 after her husband began criticizing the Bush administration’s war policies. Neither Libby nor anybody else was charged for leaking Plame’s name.
- Table Tennis – Commonwealth championships at Jaipur
- Men’s champion: Gao Ning of
beat Yang Zi Singapore
- Women’s champion: Sun Bei Bei of
beat Yue Gu Wang. Singapore